Thunder 122, Warriors 121
Observations, news and notes from Wednesday night’s game…..
* Lots of sore losers in the Warriors locker room following the Thunder’s 122-121 win, capped by Jeff Green’s buzzer-beating 16-foot bank shot.
“A lucky shot beat us tonight,” said Warriors coach Don Nelson. “I don’t believe he called bank on the shot. I believe he shot it so poorly it went in.”
“This is a tough one,” said guard Stephen Jackson. “If we lose any game we don’t want to lose a game on a hope, backboard shot.”
“We fought hard,” said guard Jamal Crawford. “But we shouldn’t even be in that position to have to come down to a desperation shot.”
* Earth to the Warriors, Green was wide open. Saying the bank was lucky is one thing. But to call it a poor shot? Uh, Green turned, faced and shot it in rhythm. Ball game.
* OK, the Warriors were somewhat gracious in defeat.
“I think he’s coming along very nicely,” Nelson said of Green. “He’s a good player. I’ve always liked him. I liked him in college.”
“He had a great game,” said Jackson of Russell Westbrook’s game-high 30 points. “The kid must have been working on his jump shot. With him getting 30, that definitely gives them a better chance to win.”
* It was Green’s first career game-winner.
* It was the Thunder’s ninth win, which assures it won’t set a new record for the NBA’s all-time worst record. (I’ll post some reaction here soon from the players on getting that monkey off their backs)
* Interesting stat: the Warriors and Thunder shot a combined 93.2 percent (68-for-73) from the free throw line. It’s the highest combined free-throw percentage in a game with at least 70 attempts since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77. The previous high was 91.6 percent (76-83) set by Portland and Sacramento on Jan. 15, 1987.
* Trivia question: who finished with a game-high eight assists? You guessed it (yeah right), Ronny Turiaf. That would be a new career-high.
* There were 22 lead changes and 15 ties. Neither team led by more than eight points.
* The Warriors trio of Kelenna Azubuike, Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette combined for 76 points. The Thunder’s big three of Green, Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 83 points.
* Durant had five assists again tonight and has now finished with at least four assists in nine of the past 15 games.
* This was only the fifth time since Scott Brooks took over that Durant didn’t make a 3-pointer. But it was his eighth double-double this year and the fourth time he’s finished with 12 or more rebounds.
* Durant says his injured shoulder is getting better.
* Who would have guessed the Thunder (13) would shoot more 3s than the Warriors (12)?
* Kyle Weaver is getting better each game.
* The Thunder did a decent job protecting the ball tonight. Only 15 turnovers, a more than acceptable total. Even better when you consider eight of them came in the third period and six of those coming in the opening 5:07 of the third.
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